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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New Westminster, BC
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Re: jibing correctly?
As you've discovered, controlled easing of the sheet as the sail comes through the wind is a good method. The issue that can arise is the ability to ease enough sheet fast enough without getting rope burn
This will depend on the number of parts in your mainsheet tackle, though on a smaller boat there's not so much sheet to run so it may not be a big issue.. obviously wearing gloves will help there too if necessary.
Bringing the sheet to centerline prior to the actual jibe makes things more controlled too, but is usually only really necessary in moderate breezes or more. Again, in a smallish boat I expect you'd be able to simply hand the sail over in light winds and be able to control it OK.
As the wind pipes up, a 'chicken jibe' (in reality ~ a 270 degree tack) is a nice, controlled safe way to jibe the boat, but with a catboat it may be difficult to keep enough way on to actually complete the manoeuvre without going into irons.
Anyhow it sounds like you're on the right track...
1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"
".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)